Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holy Innocents

Tomorrow, December 29th, is the day we remember the Holy Innocents, the first martyrs for Christ.
Thus says the LORD: “A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.”
-Jeremiah 31:15

And 1.2 million holy innocents are killed yearly in the abortion holocaust.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Grieving through photographs

As some of you know, we recently lost our second little boy this year. Andrew was born on December 12th, 12 days after he died at 13 weeks. As we did with our son Innocent, we took photographs of him. I tried to capture his tiny fingers, his ears, his elbows. I treasure the photographs we have of Innocent and only wish we had taken more. Sadly, my skill at photographing tiny babies had improved by the time I was photographing Andrew so the pictures of him are clearer than of his brother.

When this site first started, one of my goals was to have a photographs page so that people could see God's creation in all its beauty. I wanted women who were facing the loss of their tiny baby to be able to see what that baby would look like, to remove some of the fear and anxiety. Each baby on that page has a loving family and a story. I have not yet added Andrew's photos but I will soon.

The page is not finished as I would like to be able to add photographs for every week gestation. When choosing photographs my preference was to select "real babies", not illustrations. I wanted to show babies in their parents' hands, if possible, both for scale and to honor the baby. Obviously I haven't been able to do that for every week, but it is an ongoing project. [If you are willing to share or know someone who would be willing to share photographs for this purpose, please contact me. I would be honored to talk with you.]

Recently Michelle Duggar suffered the loss of her unborn daughter in the second trimester. They took beautiful photographs of the baby's hands and feet and some were distributed as memorial cards to the mourners. There was an outrage over this which was unfathomable to me as I can't imagine anything more beautiful than a baby's hands and feet. I tried not to keep up with the news because it was so upsetting, especially with the current tragedy in our own family. However, I was given a link to quite a different news article which I am happy to excerpt and post here.

"There are some people who will say, 'Oh my gosh, why would she do that?'" grief counselor Allison Daily said of the Duggars' approach. "I feel like no one should judge unless they have been in that situation. It’s one of the hardest, most awful things that can happen to a parent. They have to decide what is right for them."
Daily is a grief counselor in the obstetrics department at Aspen Valley Hospital in Colorado, and author of a book about emerging from grief called "Out of the Canyon."
She said she believes the Duggars are offering a powerful lesson for other parents struggling with their own pain.
"To me, she is a role model in how we should handle the loss," Daily said. "In the past, too many people pushed [news of a miscarriage] down and decided to make it go away and it causes depression and you never really finish the process of grieving. But this child was part of her life. I think it's a beautiful thing that she did."
Judy Blore, director of the Basis bereavement program in Pennsylvania, called the Duggars courageous for their unconventional approach and said it will ultimately provide the family closure and peace. "By showing this picture they are showing that this child is real, and if you have a real child you have real grief," Blore said.
I have encouraged women I have helped to look at, hold, name and photograph their babies. I told them that they would regret it for the rest of their lives if they didn't. So many have told me that if they hadn't been told that, they wouldn't have had the courage to do so. Not one has regretted it.

Please help women around you by encouraging them to physically acknowledge their miscarried or stillborn children. These are real babies. Too often these children are called "babies" one minute while trying to find the heartbeat, then the next minute referred to as "tissue" when a D&C is being discussed. This is inconsistent and not right. People think they are showing a woman kindness by brushing a miscarriage under the rug but women hurt for decades after when this is done. And this isn't merely theoretical knowledge but derived from communications with actual hurting women. Please acknowledge that these women lost a child. It doesn't make the hurt any worse to do that and is a source of healing.

In closing, I will post photographs of my sweet babies' perfect hands.

Innocent and Mommy


Andrew and Mommy


Monday, November 7, 2011

Research Study on Miscarriage Grief

I followed a link to this blog to find this research study. I'm filling in the consent forms to participate and encourage you to look into it if you meet the requirements. Here's the information:


If you have experienced a pregnancy loss (stillbirth or miscarriage) in the past 6 months to 4 years, we want to hear YOUR story. Drexel University is conducting a research study to learn how women healed and moved on from the grief of their loss.

You are eligible if you:

1. Are between the ages of 19 and 50.
2. Live in the United States
3. Identify as either White/Caucasian or Black/African American
4. Experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth any time between October, 2007, and April, 2011.

The study is confidential and secure- your identity and medical information will be not be shared with anyone outside the research team at Drexel University. Your answers will not be linked to your name or identity. The study takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete, and can be done online or over the phone (you can choose how you want to participate).

As a "thank you," we are offering a choice of a small "care package" (of lotion, chocolate, and tea), or a Dunkin Donuts gift card (both are worth approximately $5) to women who participate. Please email us at drexel.pregnancy.loss@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering for the study.

Thank you- we are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

h/t Danny and Stevie's mommy

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 15th

October 15th, a week from tomorrow, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I will be lighting a candle for Innocent and all of the babies (so, so many) that I pray for daily. Follow the link to learn more and to grab a "candle" to light on your own site.

link


Monday, September 26, 2011

Orthodox Conferences on Conception, Pregnancy Loss and Infertility

I want to draw your attention (those who will be interested) to the OCAMPR [Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology and Religion] 2011 conference on "The Science and Theology of Conception" which will take place at Holy Cross seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts on November 4-5. The brochure is here. Of particular interest to me is the fact that they will have a relic and wonderworking icon of St. Anna there. I wish I could go!

The conference for 2012 is still under construction but will dovetail on this year's conference. From the website:
The next two OCAMPR conferences are dedicated to helping you the caregiver gain greater insight into the medical, psychological, and spiritual world of conception, child-birth, and childlessness, and develop the tools that will enable you to more fully appreciate and minister to those inhabiting this complicated universe.
The 2012 conference will be focused on pregnancy and infant loss and infertility. I have rendered some very small assistance to the conference planning committee and hope to work with them more next year (as my emotional healing is furthered). Megan Brightwell, the planning chairman for the 2012 conference, very kindly mentioned Lost Innocents on their website.

If you are a medical professional, nurse, counselor, doctor, etc., then please check out the OCAMPR website and consider attending their conferences. They have put a great deal of work into them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Photos

Thanks to the generosity Shelley and Diana, three more pictures have been added to the Photographs page. Shelley just delivered her son Mason early this morning (10 weeks) and Diana delivered her twins 10 days apart very recently (Owen, 16 weeks, and Sophia, 18 weeks).

May the memories of Mason, Owen and Sophia be eternal!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Memory Boxes

I added a section to the end of the Practical Q&A page about making memory boxes. This can be difficult if you lost your baby very early in pregnancy so I wanted to give some ideas.

Innocent's box

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19th, Day of Hope


For more information and to add a picture from their gallery to your blog or site, go to August 19th, Day of Hope. (There are many, many different images depending on your specific situation.)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Polls

Danny's mom has a pair of polls active to get people's opinions about the disposition of deceased babies. She will be talking to one of her friends who is a state senator about pertinent legislation and is hoping to have some data to take with her. Please show your support by visiting her blog and voting in the two polls.

Thank you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Page: Websites and blogs

There's a new page, Websites and Blogs, on Lost Innocents. Feel free to email me with sites you feel should be included including personal blogs you've found helpful. If you have a site and don't see it included, don't feel slighted, just email me. After two hours of working on the page this evening I just got tired!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Site Updates

Since I last posted an update about the "Your Stories" page, we have added some new stories. Welcome and many thanks to Franki, who wrote about her son Danny, and Kristi, who wrote about her daughter Naomi Faith.

In addition, thanks to Kara who featured Lost Innocents on her blog, Random Musings. Kara's stories about her children Julia and Evan are on the "Your Stories" page. Kara continues to blog about her journey through grief, in addition to trying to conceive.

Also, Kristi (mentioned above) will be listing Lost Innocents on her site, Naomi's Circle, a Christian-based site for bereaved parents, friends and professionals. I encourage you to visit it.

I am considering adding a section listing sites and blogs by categories (multiple loss, stillbirth loss, early loss, etc.) if any would be interested. I have amassed quite a collection in my bookmarks and I refer to them myself. Please let me know if you think this would be helpful.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Holy Martyrs Theodore and John

From the Prologue of Ochrid, July 12th:

THE HOLY MARTYRS THEODORE AND JOHN (+983)
Theodore and John were father and son, and by descent Varangians (Vikings) who were baptized and then settled in the pagan city of Kiev. The enraged pagans destroyed their home with them in it and, thus, both suffered for Christ. Their relics repose in the monastery of the Caves of Anthony in Kiev. Those without children and those who miscarry invoke their intercession.

I have been unable to find out why they are asked to intercede on behalf of those who miscarry, but that part of the story may have been lost in the last 1,000 years. Interesting notes: (1) Their martyrdom predates the conversion of Russia by 5 years. (2) They were Vikings, specifically from the area which is now Sweden.

Portion of their lives from the OCA site:

"Among the Kievans," reports St Nestor the Chronicler, "lived a Varangian by the name of Theodore, who was in military service at Constantinople long before this, and was baptized there. His pagan name, preserved in the term "Turov pagan temple," was Tur (Scandinavian Thor) or Utor (Scandinavian Ottar), and this other signature is also found in the old manuscripts. Theodore had a son John, a devout and handsome youth, confessing Christianity like his father."

"And the elders and boyars said: let us cast lots upon the boys and girls. Upon whichever one it falls, that one we shall slaughter in sacrifice to the gods." The lots thrown by the pagan priests, evidently not by chance, fell upon the Christian John.

When the messengers told Theodore that his son "had been chosen by the gods themselves to be sacrificed to them," the old warrior decisively answered: "This is not a god, but wood. Today it is, and tomorrow it rots. They do not eat, nor drink nor speak, but are crafted by human hands from wood. God however is One, and the Greeks serve and worship Him. He created heaven and earth, the stars and the moon, the sun and man, and foreordained him to live upon the earth. But these gods, what have they created? They themselves are made. I shall not give my son over to devils."

This was a direct challenge by the Christian to the customs and beliefs of the pagans. An enraged crowd of pagans rushed at Theodore, smashed up his courtyard, and surrounded the house. Theodore, in the words of the chronicler, "stood at the entrance way with his son," and with weapon in hand he bravely met the enemy. (The entrance way in old Russian houses as mentioned was set up on posts of a roofed gallery of the second storey, which was reached by a ladder). He calmly gazed upon the demon-possessed pagans and said: "If they are gods, let them send one of the gods to take my son." Seeing that the brave and seasoned warriors Theodore and John could not be beaten in a fair fight, the besiegers knocked down the gallery posts. When they were broken, the crowd rushed upon the confessors and murdered them.

Already during the time of St Nestor, less than a hundred years after the confessor's deed of the Varangians, the Russian Orthodox Church numbered them among the Saints. Theodore and John became the first martyrs for the holy Orthodox Faith in the Russian land. They were called the first "Russian citizens of the heavenly city" by the transcriber of the Kiev Caves Paterikon, the holy Bishop Simon of Suzdal (May 10). The last of the bloody pagan sacrifices at Kiev became the first holy Christian sacrifice with a co-suffering for Christ. The pathway "from the Varangians to the Greeks" became for Rus the pathway from paganism to Orthodoxy, from darkness to light.

On the place of the martyrdom of the Varangians, St Vladimir later built the Desyatin Church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, consecrated on May 12, 996. The relics of St Olga were transferred into it in the year 1007.

Wondrous is God in His saints! Time does not spare stones and bronze, but the lower framework of the wooden house of the holy Varangrian martyrs, burned a thousand years before, has been preserved to our day. It was discovered in the year 1908 during the excavation of the altar of the Desyatin church at Kiev.

Sts Theodore and John are invoked by women who have miscarried.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Our babies are not medical waste [Updated]

[Update below...]

I had the blessing of talking to a long-time friend this weekend who has also suffered a loss - her 16 week baby a few years ago. Sadly, I found that she was both pushed into a D&C she didn't want (an all too common occurrence) and afterward when she requested the body of her baby to bury, her requests were refused. To this day she doesn't even know the sex of the baby. This is heart-breaking and angering. I've decided that this barbarism needs to stop. I will be contacting my local hospital (not the same hospital) and speaking to the director of pathology about their policies concerning the disposition of the bodies of babies removed during surgery. If that policy is not clear about releasing the body to the parents if they so desire, then I will do whatever necessary to make sure it is changed. Then I will speak to the director of preoperative nursing to ensure that patients are informed of their right to claim their baby's body after a D&C or laparoscopy for an ectopic pregnancy.

This is just one hospital, in one town, in one state. I will not stop here, but I can hardly effect change in the entire country. Will you step forward in your own community? See what the laws are in your state. Contact your local hospital. The barbaric "custom" of refusing to release the bodies of our unborn children to us for respectful burial must end.

Update: I have been talking to Sherokee Ilse and will be merging my efforts in this direction with hers. If you have had an experience similar to that of the friend I described above, please email me (lostinnocentsorthodox @ gmail dot com (no spaces)). I would like to hear from you. I will be documenting some of my progress here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Thousand Words

If you are a photographer, consider giving your time and talent to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. You might be the only resource in your area. These photographs mean the world to families who have lost their babies.

(video does not show in Google Reader)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Article

I received permission to post excerpts from a marvelous article on disenfranchised grief and secondary trauma written by a 'babyloss mom' and clinical psychologist. It is posted on the "For Family and Friends" page.

To many people hearing about a dead child is terribly upsetting, and even traumatizing. That is secondary trauma. If the person who experienced the trauma wouldn't be telling their story, then the other person wouldn't be traumatized, too.

So, if it is that upsetting, why don't these babyloss parents just keep their mouths shut and be polite?
(Read the rest.) 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope"


I went out on a limb and posted Innocent's story on "Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope". (Note: it is a hybrid of the two stories I've written so it includes more graphic information than the one in the "Your Stories" section.) This is a good resource for those looking for similar stories to theirs as one can search by specific categories. His story is here.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

New Page on Stillbirth

I originally conceived this site with the purpose of sharing information related to miscarriage from an Orthodox perspective. Over time (a surprisingly short period) it has been revealed how much similar information is needed on stillbirth. I have had women write that 'this site was helpful despite the fact that I had a stillbirth, not a miscarriage'. I don't want anyone to find information on this site helpful despite anything. I hadn't included stillbirth because I haven't experienced one. I turned to a now-friend who had a stillbirth at the beginning of the year and asked if she would mind helping me out. She graciously responded with a page of information that helps cover some of the gaps in information left over the rest of the site. This page does not include run-of-the-mill information on labor and delivery because that is available in abundance. This is more specific to stillbirth.

If you have had a stillbirth and would like to have your story included, or photographs of your baby included on that page, please contact me and let me know. In addition, if you read this page and have any additional information you think should be included, let me know that as well.

Many thanks to Trish who so willingly relived her painful experiences for me so that they could be shared with you. She is also working on a birth story which will appear on the "Your Stories" page. [Her story is now posted as well as photographs of her daughter Evelyn on the "Photographs" page.]

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crosses


Crosses have been on my mind lately. The new cross I wear, wall crosses, crosses on baby ribbon for baptisms, crosses safety-pinned on baby's clothes, crosses on graves, invisible crosses that we carry. We are surrounded by crosses and sometimes take them for granted.

Focusing on one specific cross, the cross that we wear, I would ask, why do we wear it? We're given a cross at baptism and generally wear it for the rest of our lives (replacing as needed when baby yanks it off your neck). Is it a symbol of Christ? A sign to others that we're Christians? A good-luck charm to keep accidents away? A pretty pendant?

When we were getting ready to bury Innocent, the morning of the burial I came across a small gold cross with a broken loop at the top. It occurred to me to put it in the casket with him to be buried with. I wavered back and forth - wanting to because he never was baptized and didn't have a cross but hating that the broken loop reminded me that his body was broken. In the end I didn't put it in. We buried him and there is a beautiful carved cross marking his grave. That cross is a symbol of the resurrection. One day Innocent's body will be resurrected and joined with his soul.

So why didn't I put the cross in the casket with him? Well, I looked again at why we give crosses at baptisms. These crosses remind us that we will carry the cross of Christ throughout our lives. "As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ, Alleluia." We put on Christ when we wear the cross. We remember his suffering, death and resurrection, acknowledging that we too will suffer for and with Christ, will die and be resurrected with him. At baptism we are grafted onto the Church of Christ. We are given the tools to struggle to live an Orthodox life so that eventually we may enter the Kingdom of God.

So what of Innocent? He didn't have to struggle. He didn't have to fight the temptations and trials of this world. He received a card, "Go directly to Heaven. Do not pass birth. Do not collect troubles, fears and temptations." He was born directly into the Heavenly Kingdom - he did not have to 'put on Christ', put on armour to fortify him for life in this fallen world. His path was not that of the cross.

This also helps me not to feel irrationally bad that he 'didn't get to be baptized'. Being baptized would not have put him into some higher level of Heaven when he died. For those who must live in this world, we need the church and its resources and tools (in the form of communion, confession, etc.) to help us. For those who will not live in this world, this is irrelevant. Their unblemished souls arrive in Heaven, no worse for the (lack of) wear and not stigmatized by the lack of baptism.

If you had a child who died before birth and thus was not baptized, do not despair. Your beautiful child is waiting for you in Heaven. And struggling to live on without them is now another golden cross around your neck. Be worthy of that cross!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Resource for Blankets

I've updated the Resources page to include sources for various small blankets to be used for either keepsakes or burial blankets. Some would be more appropriate for keepsakes since they are made to order and it may be a few weeks before you could receive it.

Thanks to everyone who gave input on this!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Idea under consideration...

Here is something I am considering but haven't decided on yet and I want your opinion:

Background unless you're familiar with my personal blog: I crochet "cross" blankets in a few patterns to sell. They're typically used for baptismal blankets but not limited to that. Sometime last year I made a tiny cross blanket for someone who had been longing for one but had lost her baby to miscarriage. She loved it (it was something tangible) and later I made one for someone else. I've made a few of these now (sadly, one for me) and have never sold them, considering it a blessing to send to someone.

One woman overseas wanted to make her baby a blanket but found out the baby had a terminal illness and might not even live long enough to be born. I didn't have a pattern, but sent her photographs and what instructions I could. As it turned out, she was able to make her baby a cross blanket, finishing it just in time to be able to wrap up her baby when she was born. She buried the baby with that blanket but made a smaller one for herself to keep (kind of like the small ones I had been making). She noted that it felt good to be able to do something for her baby since she would not be able to do any of the traditional things.

I am considering writing out a pattern for one of the little cross blankets and posting it on the Resources page. Then people could make them for themselves or for friends or family. The only stipulation would be that they could not be sold. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Announcements

Your Stories: Thanks to Laura for sharing her story with us.

Practical Q and A: Some more questions and answers have been added. Please feel free to comment (or email) and let me know if there are questions you want answered or would like to see addressed on that page even if you know the answer. Also feel free to make any suggestions about the answers that are already posted.

Thanks to Sh. Patty for mentioning Lost Innocents on her blog, Sibling Revelries. Sh. Patty's story can be found on both the Touchstone article and in the Stories section.

And also thanks to all those of you who have posted the Lost Innocents button on your blogs!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not done, but getting there...

The Actual Process:
Everything except the management of ectopic pregnancy is completed now. If you see something wildly off or have a suggestion to make, please feel free to let me know. I am by no means infallible. [Ectopic pregnancy with medical and surgical management is now included so this section is complete.]

Photographs:
Thanks to the additional women who have graciously allowed me to post their children's photographs and in some cases links to their stories. You are helping other women, I assure you. I am still looking for photographs so contact me if you are able to help here.

Your Stories and Prayers and Liturgics:
Some more stories have been posted and an additional link to photos and descriptions of a burial. I am giving basic descriptions of the stories under the links so they will be easier to navigate.

Amanda has graciously featured Lost Innocents on her blog, This Girl Will Never be the Same. She has a history of two losses and photographs of her sons Rowan and Levi can be found on the Photographs page. Glory to God, Amanda is currently 28 weeks pregnant and our prayers are with her.

Friday, May 6, 2011

New page

Thanks to Sh. Patty who submitted it (and obtained the necessary permissions) I have posted an article from Touchstone Magazine. For Words at a Loss: the Church's Response to Miscarriage and Stillbirth Needs More Work was written in part by Sh. Patty along with her husband and her father. I tried to extract the best parts, but decided in the end to post it in its entirety. I encourage you to read it. Thank you, Sh. Patty for sharing this with us.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

More Updates

More photographs have been added to that page. I am having to fill in the many blanks with stock photos but I hope to replace them as time goes on with "real" photos. This page is not finished yet - it can be difficult for me to do that much at a time.

A discussion on the eternal destination of unbaptized babies has been added to the "Prayers and Liturgics" page. It's very good.

I retitled "Natural Miscarriage" as "The Actual Process" because I am including information on all of the methods of managing miscarriage. I have added D&C information. Still to come: medical management and laparoscopy for ectopic pregnancy and a "which to choose?" section.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Button

As I mentioned last night, I did add a substantial section to the "Natural Miscarriage" page. This is by no means done, but it is a big step.

Also, a button has been created for "Lost Innocents". It is on the side bar and has HTML text below in case anyone wants to grab it.

Just to let everyone know, this has been a difficult work at times and I sincerely appreciate all of the encouragement I have received. If this site helps only a handful of people, it will have been worth it. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Site Updates

Photographs: I have added some more photographs which people have kindly let me use. I am having trouble finding natural (read: nice) photographs of babies at quite a few of the gestational ages. If you know of any photographs or have any photographs that fit this description, please consider allowing them to be posted on this page. I know these are of an extremely personal and usually private nature, but providing these photographs may prevent women from being confronted with abortion photographs at a devastating time when they are only trying to find out what their baby will look like.

Natural Miscarriage: I still haven't done much to support the actual title of the page! Still, I have added a list and explanation of terms related to miscarriage. Next to come will be descriptions of various management techniques and then a section on natural miscarriage: what to expect, how to prepare, what to do. This is a fairly extensive section and I'm trying to put up information in complete sections so there is less chance of someone coming away misinformed. [Update - I've just posted a large section about managing miscarriage at home. Still need to include medical and surgical management of miscarriage.]

Prayer and Liturgical: I adjusted the title of this page to more accurately reflect the contents. I will be adding some discussion by Fr. David Moser about the eternal destination of unborn (and thus unbaptized) babies that was sent to me. It is among the best I have ever read.

There are some minor additions on a few other pages. There will be more personal stories coming soon as well. As these are added, I will update the blog portion of the site.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Updates: Birth story

I've posted Innocent's birth stories. Part I is the overall story and doesn't include graphic details. It's posted in the "Your Stories" section. Part II is the more medical version mostly covering the actual miscarriage and it's posted in the "Natural Miscarriage" section. Everything is still under construction, but I'm trying to keep at it and post things as I can.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Site Updates and More

While they are by no means finished, some of the pages on this site have had significant updates in the last few days.

Under the "Prayer" tab are listed a churching prayer and also an outline of a sample burial service. Also linked at the bottom of that page are a few posts which depict such burials. If you would like to have yours linked as well, as an example, then please contact me.

On the "Practical Helps" page I have added some information about what to do with your baby if you miscarry under various circumstances including spontaneous miscarriage and D&C (ectopic pregnancy to be added too). This is in a question/answer format and will be added to on a continual basis.

The other pages are either bare (sorry) or have minimal information on them at present. The "Photographs" section should be primarily used for help in identifying your baby if you miscarry. There will be photographs of each week gestation from six weeks on. I am trying to post photographs taken "in real life" if possible because what a baby looks like in the womb using a special camera can be very different from what you will see yourself. These photographs will be of the entire person and not just "artsy" photographs so that the purpose will be best met. If you want to submit photographs of this sort for this page then I am happy to consider them. Other photographs would be best submitted in the "Your Stories" section with your birth story or in a montage by themselves. At present the only photographs on this page are of my son Innocent. I hope to add more soon. [The goal of this page is to help people avoid the horror of coming across photographs of aborted babies when they are looking for photographs to help them during a miscarriage.]

The "Natural Miscarriage" page will be much more clinical in nature than the other pages. When I realized I was going to miscarry my son, I was afraid, not knowing what to expect. Looking on the internet I mostly came across information about spontaneous miscarriage of six-week babies. This was not a help for me: my baby was over 12 weeks. I was also under pressure to have a D&C which I did not want. Thanks to the generosity of friends and blog readers who shared their stories with me by e-mail, I had the information I needed to prepare. I want this information to be available to more women. This page will list the different kinds of miscarriage including ectopic pregnancy and the typical ways of managing each. For women who opt to miscarry at home, there will be information about what supplies to have on hand, what to expect, and help you recognize when you need to get medical help. I will be very happy to have people share some clinical details on this page. My experience was limited, so your help will be appreciated.

[addendum: the "For Family and Friends" page is up now as well.]

That's about all that's up right now. With the end of Holy Week and Pascha approaching I want to spend less time on-line. That's not to say nothing will be added during this time, as it is helpful to me personally to work on this. Again, I will say that any suggestions, submissions, corrections, etc., are more than welcome. I do not have a monopoly on the pain associated with losing a pre-born baby and I want anyone to feel that they can contribute.

Have a good rest of Holy Week and a good Pascha!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Work in Progress

This is a very new blog which is still in its construction phase. If you happen to stumble across it and need more information than I already have posted, feel free to use the email link in my profile to email me any questions you may have.

I only fully miscarried 9 days ago (although I learned my baby died 20 days ago) so I can only work on this a bit at a time. My pain is still very new.

I hope to have this in a more complete state by Pentecost.

Again, do not hesitate to email me if you have any suggestions, corrections or need any information (or a shoulder).